‘Shadowhunters’ Roundtable: “This World Inverted”

Alternate universes. The thing is that I want to tell you that it’s not a cliche, but I am a little torn on this one. We’re split down the middle over last weeks episode, This World Inverted.

Let’s talk alternate dimension. Do you think the alternate universe was a good choice or a cliché?

[highlight]Kathryn:[/highlight] Thankfully, it worked for me on every level. From the small details (Chairman Meow/Church to Luke as a bookstore owner to the Jace/Simon special handshake) to new versions of characters, it was unbelievably fun to watch. I can’t even pick a favorite alternative character, because they were all so entertaining. Plus, I loved the visual aesthetics. It’s like a perpetually flattering Instagram filter.

[highlight]TMI Source:[/highlight]I think it was a little of both. While the show definitely dove into crazy town with the alternate universe it was actually a little fun to witness these characters as different versions of themselves. It was like Earth-2 for Shadowhunters. Did it really add anything to the story? Not really, but it was a fun detour that allowed the actors to have a little fun with these different versions of their characters. These characters were literally polar opposites of who they are: Isabelle was a nerd, Jace had no idea how to fight, and Valentine was nice. Though I do have one question: Why does this alternate universe have Church and Chairman Meow but the regular world doesn’t? We’re going to need to fix that.

[highlight]Tell Tale TV:[/highlight]It’s absolutely a cliche but I can appreciate it when it’s done well. This was a really great use of the alternate dimension trope! I was surprised by how much I liked it. It was really fun to see everyone’s alternate selves and I loved how they did it (our Clary assuming the body of AU Clary, rather than the typical 2 separate selves). It was unique.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight]It is absolutely a cliche. I felt that the show dove into a place that I didn’t know what to deal with. I felt like we were in earth-2. It didn’t add anything into the story, I felt like it was just something to fill an episode. Did I laugh? Yes. But I tell you that I feel like there could have been a better use of the episode.

Now that Simon is a Vampire do you think that his character has changed for the good or the bad? How do you feel about his Vampire side?

[highlight]Kathryn:[/highlight]Surprisingly, Simon’s lost a bit of his luster for me. I do love how Simon’s still Simon, but vampirism took away some of his endearing quirks, so he isn’t as much of a standout character as he used to be. Simon’s adjustment period is enjoyably awkward (I just about yelled when his fangs popped out), but the balance of intensity and humor isn’t quite gelling for him yet.

[highlight]TMI Source:[/highlight]While I felt like the vampire storyline was rushed this version of Simon was always who he was meant to become. I think this was the first episode that we finally saw that despite Simon becoming a vampire that he’s still Simon underneath with the humor and the caring nature. This will be good for his character in the long run, as well as open up different storylines for his character.

[highlight]Tell Tale TV:[/highlight]To be honest, to me, there’s no noticeable difference yet. He seems to be basically the same, personality-wise–just the glasses-free appearance and occasional bloodthirsty thing are different.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight] Vampire Simon came too soon, but I am enjoying him being a vampire. Then again – I love Alberto/Simon no matter what… so I am interested to see what this does for his character.

Alec in the alternate dimension is more outgoing. What do we think of that side of him?

[highlight]Kathryn:[/highlight]Alec’s more comfortable with himself and that’s one of the main things I hope for his character development in the regular world. It’s nice to see him so confident and at ease with himself as opposed to solely focusing everything on the work itself to avoid his truths.

[highlight]TMI Source:[/highlight]It was nice to see Alec outgoing and lighter in this alternate dimension, but at the same time he wasn’t the Alec that we know and love. While it was nice to see Alec take on that outgoing nature and approach Magnus instead of vice versa it felt out of character. I love Alec the way he is in our world – well, minus the crap with Lydia right now.

[highlight]Tell Tale TV:[/highlight]I loved how they flipped around the Malec dynamic in the AU, even down to AU Alec saying the same thing that our Magnus said upon their first meeting. It was great and it gives me hope for Malec. Somewhere deep down Alec has that aggressiveness in him–he just needs to unleash it!

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight] I mean – it’s nice to see him not be such a dick. Alec is one of my favorite characters and I want him to succeed. But what I did love about the alternate universe is we got to see more interaction with Magnus – and one thing I have missed is the build up of them.

Izzy getting arrested. Do you think that Lydia was just in that or do you think that Lydia really is like Valentine and just against the Downworlders?

[highlight]Kathryn:[/highlight]We don’t know much about her, but I think that she has a pure heart. Lydia genuinely doesn’t want to arrest Izzy, at least for Alec’s sake, and thinks that she’s just abiding by the laws. In that sense, it’s easy to see why Alec and Lydia have partnered up.

[highlight]TMI Source:[/highlight] I don’t know, but I do feel like there’s just something off about Lydia. It could be that she’s like Valentine and just hates the Downworlders, but I feel like it’s more than that given the circumstances. I mean, come one, this is your fiance’s sister that you’re arresting. I feel like Lydia is someone that always needs to be in charge and she’ll do anything – including betrayal – to get it.

[highlight]Tell Tale TV:[/highlight]Lydia strikes me as genuine so I think she’s doing what she believes to be best, given her dedication to the Clave and her past experience with her dead fiancé. I can’t recall anything she’s said that has seemed like she’s prejudiced against Downworlders.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight]I don’t trust Lydia. I don’t like her. I don’t trust her. I feel like she’s up to some shit. I feel like she will do anything to get ahead – and it’s bothering me that Alec is letting it happen.

Alec has crossed many lines in this episode. Do you think that he did it out of love for his sister or anger at Jace?

[highlight]Kathryn:[/highlight]A combination of the two. I don’t like where Alec’s currently at—putting his business marriage and the Clave before his actual family, his Parabatai. Parabatai would never act like this and this entire storyline is bothering me to no end. Alec’s number one concern has always been for the safety of his family, so it’s all not adding up.

[highlight]TMI Source:[/highlight] It was definitely out of anger. Alec has become this character that I don’t recognize anymore because of the way he’s acting and how he’s siding with Lydia over his sister and Jace. While Alec and Jace’s relationship in the books was never perfect there was never a question of the love and devotion between the two parabatai. But I can’t say the same for the television versions of these characters given the way Alec is behaving. Simply put, that’s not the Alec that I know or care to know. Also why is Alec all of a sudden devoted only to Lydia this woman that he doesn’t love but proposed to? There’s a difference between family honor and arrogance. And Alec is so beyond family honor at this point.

[highlight]Tell Tale TV:[/highlight]Both. I do think he was mostly protecting Izzy though. After Alec and Jace’s fight in the last episode, Alec was clearly disturbed by what had become of their bond. He’s obviously still angry at Jace’s betrayal (particularly after he realized Jace had stolen the Mortal Cup, the only sure fire way to save Izzy), but I do think his chief goal was saving his sister. That last Alec/Izzy scene demonstrated that really nicely.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight]It was out of anger. Alec – I don’t recognize. I miss the Alec of the books and I wish that I knew the Alec that is loyal and see’s Jace as family. I wish I saw the Alec and Izzy relationship of the books – but I just am accepting what has happened. I am just not happy about it.

What are your overall thoughts on the episode?

[highlight]Kathryn:[/highlight]Loved the alternative dimension storyline, but the real world stuff was a mess. I’m not a fan of Alec right now or Izzy’s arrest. When I find myself not caring about an entire storyline that’s when I know something isn’t right. I’m choosing to focus on how much I loved the other world, because that cuteness can overcome just about anything.

[highlight]TMI Source:[/highlight] While I was certainly entertained with the whole alternate universe aspect of the episode, it wasn’t my favorite because it didn’t really add a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. Not to mention it had that twist at the end with Michael Wayland that I have so many issues with.

[highlight]Tell Tale TV:[/highlight]One of the strongest of the season, for sure. A lot happened, Clary was very active and minimally annoying. I liked the Alec subplot in trying to save his sister. My only complaint is that the Simon/Luke subplot was disconnected and kind of dumb.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight]I could have laughed it off but when Michael Wayland showed up… ugh.

Who was the MVP of this episode?

[highlight]Kathryn:[/highlight]Clary and Jace. Kat did such a great job of showing Clary’s struggle to balance the two worlds, while remaining focused on her mission. It’s as hard to navigate for Clary as it is for the audience. I love how Dom chose to distinguish between the two versions of Jace in both physicality and personality. I actually wanted more Jace this episode, which hasn’t always been the case in the past.

[highlight]TMI Source:[/highlight] Can I say Alberto Rosende? Because it’s always Alberto to me. He gave two solid performances in both our world and the alternate universe that continues to reiterate my thoughts as to why he’s the best character on this show.

[highlight]Tell Tale TV:[/highlight]AU Valentine’s giant mad hatter hat. Not even the character, just the hat.

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight]Always and forever – Alberto.

Now…about Michael Wayland being alive? Good thing or bad thing?

[highlight]Kathryn:[/highlight]Right now, it’s a bad thing, because I have no idea where this storyline is going. I can’t tell if they’re going to skip the whole upcoming Jace/Clary angsty storyline altogether or if this is just a diversion on the way to that point. They could be changing up the storyline to have Michael be Clary’s father instead of Valentine, but then that would provide a chain reaction of future familial story problems in later books. If I hadn’t read the books, I really wouldn’t have a second thought about Michael Wayland, apart from it being shocking. It’ll be interesting to see where it leads, because, at the moment, I couldn’t even guess.

[highlight]TMI Source:[/highlight] Bad. Very, very bad. While I’m doing better with accepting certain changes with this show this is one of those changes that I don’t know how to react to. This “twist” is actually a plot hole that raises more questions than it does answer them. It really makes me question how they’re going to handle the whole Jace-Valentine relationship – or if they’re even going that route. You know, the faithful route.

[highlight]Tell Tale TV:[/highlight]Unsure. I definitely didn’t see it coming at all, so good on the show for actually surprising me. In some ways, I’m hesitant to believe that it’s definitely the real Michael Wayland. We already know there are shape shifters and it just seems far too convenient that he was just in that locker exactly where they “landed.”

[highlight]Fangirlish:[/highlight] I don’t even know what to say about that – but can we say plot hole. How are they gonna get themselves out of this.

1 Comment

  1. – The Alt. Universe was very cliché – and it didn’t help that ‘Flash’ was using the AU arc the same night this episode aired. The idea for this episode was obviously from COHF, where they enter the demon realm, and nearly get stuck in their dreams of what their lives _could_ have been. So what was wrong with using the original story line?? Yes – this one had it’s funny moments, but it lacked the impact the source gave it.

    – While I’m glad to see they’re not going to change Simon’s character to the angsty new vamp he was in the last episodes, I am more interested in seeing what they’re going to do about the daylighter plot line. Since it would seem they have dumped the extra-dose of angel blood plot line for Clary and Jace, are they going to keep Simon dodging sunlight forever?

    – Sometimes I think they brought Lydia in to ‘balance’ what they’ve done to Alec’s character. Lydia seems to have a conscience, but is convinced that the law must be upheld. That was book Alec.
    Show Alec has become the angry-boy cliché – angry at being lied to by his parents; angry at Jace choosing Clary; angry, angry, angry – and frustrated. And omg cliché.

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